1L Legal Intern, U.S. Clean Air

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

1L Legal Intern, U.S. Clean Air­­­­­­ (D.C­­., Summer 2019)


Environmental Defense Fund’s Washington Office seeks highly qualified and deeply motivated law students to work on projects related to climate change, air quality, and energy.  Environmental Defense Fund is a national, non-profit, non-governmental advocacy organization with 2 million members nationwide, and offices across the country.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to EDF’s public health and environmental mission and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. EDF’s U.S. Clean Air team is dedicated to achieving that vision in our work, helping achieve clean air for all.

Overall Function
The internships are ten weeks in duration, and thirty-five hours per week (full-time). 


Previous interns have researched and written legal and policy documents for federal court litigation, administrative litigation, national and state regulatory proceedings, and various policy venues.  For example, research activities have supported: U.S. Supreme Court litigation over EPA’s authority to regulate climate pollutants and power plant emissions; D.C. Circuit litigation over greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act, major new health-based air quality standards, and rules to reduce industrial air pollution; advocacy to reduce climate pollution; major national and regional policy initiatives on air quality and climate change; international agreements and guidelines regarding trans-boundary pollution control programs in the U.S./Mexico border region; projects that work towards ensuring protections for low-income and vulnerable communities from air pollution; and protection of air quality and ecological systems in national parks.


The Washington, D.C. Office is located just north of Dupont Circle—near historic Georgetown, the vibrant U Street and Adams Morgan neighborhoods, and the White House. Summers in Washington offer the opportunity to sample the city’s dizzying array of outstanding museums, venerable monuments, diverse restaurants, theatre, music, and (often free) cultural and civic events. Also not to be missed: the Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall; kayaking on the Potomac; Friday night jazz in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden; hiking in Shenandoah National Park; and Dorothy’s ruby red slippers.

We seek students interested in working on cutting edge regional, national, and international climate and air quality issues. Exceptional candidates who will have only completed one year of law school will be considered. 

Washington, D.C.

2019 Summer Internship (10 weeks)

thirty-five hours per week (full-time) 

This is a paid internship, either in whole or in part by EDF, with compensation competitive with leading non-governmental organizations. Students who do not receive external funding will be paid by EDF. Students who receive only partial external funding will receive supplemental funding from EDF.  Students are also encouraged to seek academic credit through their college/university and EDF will ensure that any and all paperwork needed to secure academic credit is completed.

To be considered for one of the rewarding internships with the Environmental Defense Fund’s US Climate legal and regulatory team, please apply by submitting your résumé, references, law school transcripts, writing sample, and a cover letter. In your letter please describe your interests in environmental law and policy work, relevant completed course work, whether or not you are able to work for class credit, and if so, how much, and note any work-study or grant money you will be able to provide. Summer stipends, competitive with other leading non-profit organizations, are available for candidates who receive no external funding or only partial external funding. Environmental Defense Fund will also give strong consideration to summer academic externships.

With respect to the guidelines and principles set by the National Association of Law Placement (NALP), 1L applications will not considered until December 1, 2018. After December 1, 2018 all applications will be considered immediately and on a rolling basis.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.